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Unit Type
State

24th Alabama Infantry (CSA)
Ancestor Info
Name: John Charles O'ConnellRank: Lieutenant Company: A

John joined the 24th Alabama Infantry as his father Bernard was Captain in Company B and recruting for the 24th. John was 2nd Lt. Company A, 24 Alabama Infantry appointed June 24, 1862 Record# 1057 Card Number 44627683 Confe. Arch., chap. 1 File No. 82, page 216 Register Containing Rosters of Commissioned Officers, Provisional Army Confederate States. signed by Lt. Col. G. Taylor. He resigned his commission in March of 1862 to join the CSN. Appointed from Alabama. Acting Assistant 3rd Engineer March 1862. Resigned the second quarter of 1862. 3rd Assistant Engineer August 13, 1862. 2nd Assistant Engineer May 21, 1863. 2nd Assistant Engineer Provisional Navy , June 2, 1864. Served with the Mobile Squadron 1862-1865; CSS Morgan 1862-1863; CSS Selma 1863; CSS Tennessee 1863-1864; exchanged at Ship Island, MS , March 2 1865. Final parole May 10, 1865. Source: 'Register of Officers of the Confederate States Navy, 1861--1865' C. Carter Smith, Jr. first published the diary of John C. O’Connell in 1964 in TWO NAVAL JOURNALS 1864. O’Connell helped bring the formidable, but slow steam-powered ram, C.S.S. Tennessee, into battle against Union warships at the Battle of Mobile Bay. Following intense cannon fire from opposing vessels, the O’Connell’s Tennessee was forced to surrender upon receiving massive damage, including loss of steering capability. First imprisoned aboard Union warships, O’Connell traveled to the U.S. Naval Hospital in Pensacola, then to a prison barracks in New Orleans and, finally on November 6th 1864, to the prison camp on Ship Island. He would occupy a tent near the beach until his exchange six months later. Every four days, O’Connell has the opportunity to wander the island for a distance of two miles and back, though he says he seldom does. His treatment appears to be tolerable and notes being treated with respect by his captors, but also mentions that the enlisted men are knocked down in '…a shameful manner.' Food packages from New Orleans livened up his existence, but O’Connell writes of envy as he watches other Confederate prisoners leave the island for permanent prisons elsewhere or a possible return home. Finally on March 2nd, 1865, the naval engineer gets word that an exchange of prisoners has been arranged between sides. John C. O’Connell boards a ship and under a flag of truce sails back to Mobile and away from Ship Island.

Contact Info
Contact Name: Willson O'Connell
Contact E-Mail: Click for E-mail
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